Auditing your SMSF
If you’re a director or trustee of a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) you are probably aware that changes were recently made to whether certain firms can undertake SMSF audits and provide other services to the SMSF.
We are very happy to confirm that the changes do not impact on the services we offer our SMSF clients, however we felt it important to bring this to your attention and keep you informed.
The below provides a summary of the changes.
Commencing on 1 January 2020, the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including independence standards) (APES110) was updated and provided additional guidance for firms undertaking business advisory assistance including preparation of financial statement and income tax return to SMSF clients in addition to completing the required audit.
There was some initial confusion about the guidance, which saw the Chartered Accountants Australian and New Zealand (CAANZ), our professional body, issue a guide to this code in May 2020.
More recently on 15 March 2021 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued further guidance as to their requirements for independence.
WLF services for SMSF
WLF is a large independent Tasmanian firm, with a longstanding reputation for delivering excellent personalised service to businesses and families across the state.
Within our Business and Personal Advisory (BPA) division we have a dedicated group who provide administrative and compliance services for SMSF clients.
Our Audit, Assurance and Advisory (AAA) division, led by Partner Joanne Doyle, consists of a sizeable team of experienced auditors, and is highly regarded for the quality of their superannuation audits. Our SMSF audits not only provide an audit sign off, but also alert directors and trustees to any upcoming changes in rules, as well as any areas where the fund needs to work on compliance.
The changes to the Code gave us the opportunity to look closely at our processes and we have taken our analysis of our independence very seriously.
- We have worked through all the guidance and the required safeguards stipulated in APES110.
- We shared our position with CAANZ, who confirmed our processes created the required level of independence.
- WLF is fortunate that due to its size (11 partners) and structure (70 staff) we can mitigate any threats to independence; other firms have not been able to meet the same test.
- We ensure independence by having a separate Audit, Assurance and Advisory division and Business and Personal Advisory division, with no cross reporting to partners.
- All our work is completed by WLF trained staff and we do not outsource or off-shore any services.
- We also do not provide financial planning advice and we do not take over management decisions on your fund.
What does this mean for you?
If your SMSF is audited by WLF then there is no change required. At the ATO’s suggestion we have added one report to our client sign-off package, which is a full trial balance. Our clients can sign-off on this at the same time as the full financial statement package sign-off.
If you are a director or trustee of a SMSF that is not currently audited by WLF, we would be very happy to speak with you about our services. This area is a complex and changing one, so it is important that you have auditors that are ensuring your compliance with all ATO legislation.
For any questions, please contact our team.
WLF Accounting & Advisory, supporting Tasmanians to move forward through challenging times.